If you're as tired of the St. Louis being pitied as a "small market" sports town as I am, Forbes has some interesting information for you.
The finance and business magazine reports that the Cardinals are the most profitable team in Major League Baseball.
According to the report, St. Louis made $73.6 million last year in profits, edging out the decidedly large market Chicago Cubs who were $73.3 million in the black.
The Cardinals were judged to be the sixth-most valuable team in baseball at $1.4 billion, nearly 10 times the $150 million the group led by team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. paid to acquire the club from Anheuser-Busch two decades ago.
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Let this be a lesson to the National Football League which seems to think St. Louis has something to prove as a sports market -- even though fans here have strongly supported the Rams despite the fact that they've been the worst team in football for more than a decade. The potential to draw and make money is obviously there.
It always boggles my mind that Cardinals fans think the team has to resort to dumpster diving to fill its roster because it can't afford to compete with the big boys. While spending money for the sake of spending money isn't the answer, the Birds could afford, on paper, to add TWO $25 million-a-year free agent superstars and still have a healthy bottom line if they so desired.
As good as the spreadsheet looks now, it's going to get much better in the near future because the team will soon have a new local television contract that is expected to be much more lucrative than the current deal.
Hopefully, the team will use some of these financial resources to keep their young players and add to its roster of premium players as the contracts of Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright begin to come off the books. This will not only keep the team competitive, but it will keep the money flowing in.
One of the reasons the Cardinals have been so successful is that ownership realized you have to spend money and be competitive in order to make money. While the Kansas City Royals spent more than 25 years playing to empty houses and residing in the American League Central division basement in a similar market, the Redbirds thrived. Now that the Royals have spent some money and become more competitive they, too, have boomed financially.
So let's lose the inferiority complex and the excuse making and celebrate what's been built here.